Does anyone know how to get to Sesame Street anymore? The children’s show has been undergoing some major changes, but the most recent one may shock most people. It has been revealed that three original human cast members, known as Bob, Gordon, and Luis, have been axed, and it all happened when the show switched to HBO.
Longtime resident of Sesame Street Bob McGrath revealed that he and his two co-stars were no longer part of the show. Muppetcast reported that McGrath broke the bad news at Florida Supercon earlier this month that he and two others, Emilio Delgado (Luis) and Roscoe Orman (Gordon), had been released from their duties alongside the Muppets.
“As of this season, I have completed my 45th season this year. And the show has gone under a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half hour. HBO has gotten involved also. And they let all of the original cast members go, with the exception of Alan Muraoka — who is probably 20 years younger than the rest of us — and Chris Knowings, who is also young.”
Apparently, the younger set of humans may be able to relate better with all of the technology and other stuff that kids are involved with these days. McGrath, 84, has been with the show from the very beginning when it premiered in 1969. Just last year, Sesame Street announced that they were going to do some major changes by first switching to HBO. They also decided to shorten their time slot from an hour to half an hour.
Now with the elimination of these three men who have always been a staple on this famous street, it is almost unrecognizable these days. Bob McGrath taught music on the beloved show, while Roscoe Orman, 72, was the local science teacher and Emilio Delgado, 76, was the shop owner. Another Sesame Street icon, Sonia Manzano, who was Luis’ wife, Maria, on the PBS show, made the announcement that she was retiring last July.
An official tweet was posted on Thursday after the news broke about the firing straight from Sesame Street. They reinforced the sad news that they have indeed been let go.
“Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado (‘Luis’) and Roscoe Orman (‘Gordon’) remain a beloved part of the Sesame family and continue to represent us at public events. To us, and for millions of people worldwide, they are a treasured part of Sesame Street.”
They went on to say that the show is always making changes to meet the educational needs of kids. They did say that the former cast members may still be involved in other types of productions outside of the show. They also stressed that HBO had nothing to do with axing the men. Sesame Workshop has sole control over the show. According to Variety, PBS CEO Paula Kerger spoke at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Thursday, and she admitted that they had no idea that the decision was made to let the men go until afterwards.
People on social media aren’t taking the news of the firings so well. Many are posting their favorite memories, but most are expressing their anger and sadness about the older guys getting the boot.
“Bob, Gordon, and Luis were and are critical to the success of Sesame Street. HBO’s decision to cut them from the show is sad and not right.”
Another comment on social media gave a personal explanation as to why the show should have older cast members and not all younger people.
“The older cast gave my kids a way to relate to the older people in our community. It’s very unfortunate to lose that asset.”
Of course, the non-human characters are still residing on this famous street. Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, Oscar, The Count, and all of the other characters will have to roll with the changes just like everyone else. They will go on teaching kids how to count, say the alphabet, and how to treat everyone with kindness. If you don’t have HBO, new episodes will air on PBS six months after HBO airs them.
Do you think that Sesame Street will be a thing of the past soon?
[Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images]